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Beacon Program


Beacon Program

The Beacon Program provides a framework for local governments to share best practices that create healthier, more vibrant and sustainable communities. The program honors voluntary efforts by local governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save energy and adopt policies that promote sustainability.

The Beacon Program is sponsored by the Institute for Local Government and the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative.  The Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative (SEEC) is an alliance to help cities and counties reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save energy. SEEC is a collaboration between three statewide non-profit organizations and California’s four Investor Owned Utilities.

The Beacon Program is funded in part by California utility ratepayers through the Public Goods Charge, levied under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission and administered by Pacific Gas and Electric Company, San Diego Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison, and Southern California Gas Company.


How to Participate in the Beacon Program

This section provides links to key resources for cities and counties interested in participating in the Beacon Program.

Resources include:


Award Winners

The Beacon Program features two types of awards:

  • Beacon Award: recognizing an agency’s holistic approach to addressing climate change. Participating agencies are required to complete each of five elements to win a Beacon Award.
  • Spotlight Award: recognizing individual accomplishments of cities and counties participating in the Beacon Program as they work to complete the five elements necessary to achieve a Beacon Award.

Beacon Program Participants

The Beacon Program currently supports more than 150 jurisdictions, representing more than 35% of the state’s population, that are implementing effective climate action practices that are improving the quality of life in their communities. Small and large, urban and suburban, these agencies are truly models of leadership at the local level.


Beacon Program Champion

The Institute for Local Government is grateful to the many organizations that serve as Beacon Program Champions, such as councils of government, special districts or foundations. ILG works with Beacon Champions to support and encourage the activities of cities and counties participating or considering participation in the Beacon Program. 


Beacon Program Videos

View video clips featuring elected officials and staff from Beacon Program participating communities discussing sustainability and climate action at the local level.

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